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Google traffic dropped dramatically for many sites

There is an interesting thread over at Webmaster World’s forums that indicates that a significant number of web masters have noticed a drastic reduction in referals from Google in the past few days. Some are reporting decreases in in Google visitors from numbers like 2000 to 350 or 30,000 to 5,000.

In checking my stats in the past few days I’ve not noticed such a decrease – although it would be my worst nightmare as over 90% of my blogs traffic comes from Google at present and such a decrease would result in a similar reduction in advertising revenue.

Have others noticed such a decrease in Google’s traffic?

Do forum signature links help PageRank and SERPS?

One of the tips I’ve seen given in many SEO articles is that if you add your blog’s URL as a signature in your messages left in forums that you’ll increase your Search Engine Ranking. It makes sense, especially if you use the keywords you’re targeting – however Search Engine FAQ is running a test on the theory and so far it seems that such a strategy is yet to prove to be helpful in increasing page rank.

Read more about this test at Do forum signature links help PageRank and SERPS?

All is not lost however trolling forums to promote your site in signatures is your strategy because it can still send significant traffic to your site if you choose the right forums and are genuine in your comments.

Getting your blog to the top of the Search Engines

Search Engine News Journal has posted 10 great tips to get your blog ranked at the top of the Search Engines. I really like their approach because they acknowledge that it takes time to get your blog high up the rankings. I also like this tip about ‘titles’:

‘Create a killer Title tag. Title tags are critical because they’re given a lot of weight with all of the search engines. You must put your keyword phrases into this tag and not waste space with extra words. Do not use the Title tag to display only your company name, or to simply say “Home Page.” Think of this tag more as a “Title Keyword Tag” and create it accordingly. It should reflect exactly what your page is about, using the keyword phrases people might be using at a search engine to find your company.’

Read more at Search Engine News Journal – Ten Tips to the Top of the Search Engines and read more about how titles are everything.

Blog Referal Statistics as an SEO Tool

SEO Scoop suggests that your blog’s log files (or stats package – especially key word referrers) are a great tool for optimizing your site for search engines. This is good news because one of the most useful SEO tools that you have at your disposal is right at your fingertips! They write:

“The log files from your web site traffic can be an important aspect of your SEO research. You can find an amazing amount of information embedded within the logs. For example, today I noticed seven search terms that are doing very well in Yahoo that I was unaware of. These are terms I had not thought of and had not optimized for, but people are flowing into the site using those terms. In addition, Yahoo is outranking Google in terms of traffic for the site I am talking about.”

I check my referrals from Google regularly to see how people are finding my site. As written above you can be quite surprised at how people stumble upon your site. I remember about a year ago I noticed that I was getting a lot of hits to my blog from people searching for ‘Australian Idol’ (an Aussie TV show). I’d written a post about the show and not really thought any more about it until I saw all the hits I was getting to it. As a result I became a regular writer about the show and then this year have been involved with the owners of Idol Blog who watched my success last year.

So the lesson is simply to watch how people are finding your blog and if the opportunity exists write more on the topic!

More Search Engine Optimization tips for your Blog

There is a lot of articles out there about how to optimize your blog for search engines – Google in-particularly – but this one has some pretty handy tips on SEO and promoting your blog. The key one really is to find ways to get others to link to your site – using the keywords you are targeting on your search engine.

Of course this isn’t always easy – I get emails every day from people asking me to link to them, sometimes for reciprocal links, but 99% of the time they go straight to the trash bin. People WILL link to you if you write quality content and treat them with respect and genuineness. It is also worth thinking a little creatively about this also – if you can actually provide other sites and bloggers with a service that will benefit their blog whilst still giving you a link (with your targeted wording) you can do quite well. This is why our ‘mini medal table’ at our recent Olympics Blog was so successful. We provided bloggers with a free medal table that was updated live with medals won – but the table contained around 12 links back to our site using keywords that we’d chosen such as ‘Medal Table’ which linked to our medal table page. This page was hugely successful during the games – it ranked #1 on google and because it was one of the most searched for terms those weeks we generated hundreds of thousands of visitors.

[Read more...]

Getting Indexed Through Google AdSense

One of the theories that often goes around forums that discuss the use of Adsense is that site that use it get indexed faster and higher than sites that don’t. The theory goes that if you use Adsense – Google will want your site to be more successful (and therefore earn them extra money) and so it will do its best to get your site seen by as many people as possible by giving it a high page ranking. Google denies this to be the case in their promotion of Adsense.

I’ve often thought that it would be interesting to test this theory – but never got around to it. Luckily someone else has.

Search Engine Round Table has done a little tester of the theory and believes Google is truly playing fair and not elevating Adsense sites. They write:

‘I personally tested this out on a site. I put up a new site, made sure not to put any links to it. Then I put up AdSense ads and waited. Months later it was still not included in the Google index. Only recently has it been indexed, and I believe that is because someone, somewhere put a link to it. I strongly feel that this theory, although logical, is not correct.’
Read more at Getting Indexed Through Google AdSense

Search Engines, Directories and RSS Agregators to Submit your Blog to

Most Search Engines, Directories and News Aggregators will not find your blog on their own – well not quickly anyway – many need a little help and have ways of suggesting sites to be added to their databases.

Big List of Blog Search Engines is just what it says – a big list of Search Engines, directories, and web-based RSS aggregators that you might want to consider submitting your blog to in order to promote it to web users everywhere.

Page Rank Explained

If you’re wondering how Google works out how to rank search results on their search engine – and are also curious about how to climb the rankings with your blog or site then you might like to head over to Page Rank Explained which gives a pretty comprehensive outline of Page Rank.

‘PageRank is one of the methods Google uses to determine a page’s relevance or importance. It is only one part of the story when it comes to the Google listing, but the other aspects are discussed elsewhere (and are ever changing) and PageRank is interesting enough to deserve a paper of its own.

PageRank is also displayed on the toolbar of your browser if you’ve installed the Google toolbar (http://toolbar.google.com/). But the Toolbar PageRank only goes from 0 – 10 and seems to be something like a logarithmic scale….

We can’t know the exact details of the scale because, as we’ll see later, the maximum PR of all pages on the web changes every month when Google does its re-indexing! If we presume the scale is logarithmic (although there is only anecdotal evidence for this at the time of writing) then Google could simply give the highest actual PR page a toolbar PR of 10 and scale the rest appropriately.’ Read more at Page Rank Explained.

Getting listed on Search Engines

Since writing the Finding Readers series of blog tips I’ve had a number of people ask for more information on getting listed on Search Engines – particularly Google.

Patrick Taylor has written a great post on Boosting your Google Ranking. He incorporates most of the tips I’ve seen written elsewhere in a way that even I (mostly) understand.

His main points include:

- Archive Individual Posts
- Incorporate post title into individual post title tags – I have this and it seems to work very well.
- Link a lot – and try to attract links
- Wrap Hypertext around words – ie don’t have links like click here but instead use descriptive terminology that people are likely to do a search on. Eg the best digital photography link on the web.
- Make your blog slim/trim and fast – he provides great resources for this.

Anyway – there is heaps to think about in his article – check it out.

You might also like to check out Google: Is your blog indexed? which also has some good tips on getting your blog indexed on Google.